Sunday, April 21, 2013

Integration, blood, and the sense of touch

Okay, I'll be honest; I haven't had my heart in school the past two weeks.  I've been busier then normal, and school (specifically history) has taken the brunt of it.  I hope to change, but I know I'm going to be busy this week too.

The last two weeks we've learned about segregation and Rosa Parks.  We have actually been talking about this all month, but I really wanted to teach it clearly and have activities.  When we did get around to sitting down and having discussions, Maxwell knew everything already, so I guess I didn't totally fail.

We cut out hands of different colours and put them around a picture of the world, but it ended up covering the world up.  Ha ha

We also coloured Peace Doves.  I gave each boy a different colour, and if they wanted more then just that colour,  they had to get it from someone else.  It was meant to symbolize how all races need each other to add variety and beauty to the world.  We used the dove because the segregation revolution was nonviolent noncooperation.

Some cute children's books about this are "Goin' Someplace Special" "Grandmama's Pride"and "rosa" by Giovanni.

Science has been pretty lame because of my lack of preparation.  We were supposed to learn about the lymph system, but to be honest, I still don't know about it, and neither does my group of kids. BUT we did learn about blood.  We all took our blood pressure and we looked at my blood under the microscope.  One boy was brave enough to prick himself to see his blood as well. Another boy tried picking his scab for blood; that didn't work so well.  Ha ha ...boys.

The next week we started learning about the 5 senses (we skipped the nervous system because I'm hoping to get a brain to dissect later on in the year.) We learned about touch.  Among our experiments, we tried to identify things without the sense of touch by using blindfolds and gloves to guess what things were.

We also learned about braille and made our own with push pins.

Even though I was lame, they at least were able to go to the library and learn about Australia.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chocolate Pilots and Seeing our own skin

I love the book "Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot."

Not only is it the best children's book out there about the cold war, it is one of the best nonfiction children books ever. I seriously can not get through reading it without bawling.

We acted out our own chocolate pilot.  We made a few parachutes and attached candy to them.  I then got up high on the furniture and asked them questions about the real event, wiggled my out-streched arms and threw the parachutes.  We did this quite a few times.  As you can imagine, this was a success.

Serendipitously, during the LDS World Report which airs in the middle of conference sessions, they had a feature on Lt. Halvorsen. He happens to be a member of the church.  I started crying again.

Here's the link.

I love conference. Seriously the best education that my family can get.

To continue learning about the cold war, we read about the Cuban missile crisis and JFK's death.  I was being kind of lazy and said to Maxwell "K---Go and make a submarine and a boat out of legos to rein-act this." WOW!  Little did I know how much Maxwell would love doing this!   Maxwell is ALWAYS playing with legos, but I guess he likes direction.

By the way, some other good books about WWII were "One Candle" "Little Ships" and "Blueberries for the Queen."

Moving on to our science, we learned about the excretory system and skin.  For some reason it was a bit awkward to teach about pee, but it was just fine to teach about the digestive system.  Why is that?

Anyway, I ended up teaching mostly about skin that day. Probably the coolest part was looking through a microscope at our skin.  We had coloured our skin with a marker and ripped off the dead skin with some tape.  That sounds painful, but it was just normal tape.

We also learned about fingerprints.  That was a mess.